The galleries below show a selection of the riches of wildlife to be found in Selsdon Wood. Hover over each image for information or click to see an enlarged version. We would be delighted to add your photographs to the galleries - please send them to

Amphibians & Reptiles

To date these are the only photos we have of amphibians from Selsdon Wood and there are no sightings of reptiles.

---- Tadpole development - a series of photographs by Tony Flecchia ---- Frog (3) ---- Newt ---- Toad (2) ----

The frogspawn in the Jubilee pond (shown in the first photograph) never hatched in situ. By the time the little tadpoles were ready to emerge the spawn had collapsed and we assumed the stagnant water in the pond had killed it. Fortunately, we had removed a batch of spawn earlier to rear at home and the photos of the developing tadpoles below were taken from this. However, the high attrition rate was troubling and as deaths continued it appeared that the problem was virtually certain to be the ranavirus disease that has been killing frogs worldwide since about 1980. It also affects the developing tadpoles and the symptoms were all evident in these tadpoles, lethargy, loss of feeding, swollen abdomen and pigment changes. Apparently the water that infected frogs enter can become a home for the virus, reinfecting any later frogs and tadpoles, so there is not much hope for our still water pool. The disease also lethally infects all other amphibians and reptiles - which may explain why we have no other sightings. The froglet in the final photograph in the sequence was the only one remaining from the 80 tadpoles that we started with - and sadly it too died the following day


An up-to-date listing of all the Birds seen in Sesldon Wood is provided below. 

The list will be updated when new species are seen additions could occur at any time, particular during migration.

Birds Full List 17.7.18.pdf Birds Full List 17.7.18.pdf
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Over the years we have installed many bird-boxes throughout the wood including, in 2012, 5 tit boxes and 2 owl boxes.

Click here for further details.

Crow Family - Corvidae

---- Carrion Crow (7) ---- Jackdaw ---- Jay (5) ---- Magpie (4) ---

Finch Family Fringillidae

 ---- Chaffinch --- Goldfinch ---- Greenfinch ---- Siskin (2) ----

Tit Family - Paridae

---- Blue Tit (4) ----Coal Tit ---- Great Tit ---- Long-tailed Tit ---- Marsh Tit ----

Thrush Family - Turdidae

---- Blackbird (5) ---- Mistle Thrush, Turdus viscivorus (2) ---- Redwing, Turdus iliacus (2)---- Robin (3)  ---- Song Thrush (4) ---

Birds of Prey - Hawks and Owls

---  Buzzard (2) ---- Honey Buzzard ---- Kestrel ---- Red Kite ---- Sparrowhawk (2) ---- Tawny Owl (5) ----


---- Greater Spotted Woodpecker (10) ---- Green Woodpecker (2 + feather) ----

Also see this great story from David Malins about  Woodpeckers nesting by his garden in 2015. 

Other Birds

---- Blackcap ---- Black Headed Gull ---- Chiffchaff (2) ---- Collared Dove (2) ----  Dunnock ----

---- Goldcrest ---- Herring Gulls ----  Nuthatch (2) ---- Parakeet ---- Pheasant (3) ----  Starling  ---- Stock Dove ----

---- Swallow ---- Swift ---- Treecreeper ---- Wood Pigeon (2) ----


---- Badger (6) ----

---- Deer (7) ----
---- Our Famous White Squirrel (6) -----
This video of our famous white squirrel was taken on March 14th 2017  by Magdalena Kozlowska. Many thanks Magdalena for sharing it with us:-)
white squirrel video.mp4 white squirrel video.mp4
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Also take a look at this great blog about the Selsdon Wood white squirrel written by our regular contributor and photo competition winner Mark Shoesmith.

---- Foxes (5) ----
---- Bats ----

Bats present particular challenges when it comes to researching and monitoring their presence in a given area. For many years it was believed that Selsdon Wood (SW) was home to Common Pipistrelles and nothing more. It was our attendance on bat walks at Wandle Park with Meike Weiser, Community Conservation Partnership Officer at Croydon Council, that piqued our interest in acquiring an Echo Meter Touch 2 bat detector for IOS, after seeing one in action in the hands of one of the attendees. It was a revelation - full spectrum detection and auto ID, it made the bat world immediately accessible.

With the hobbyist version in hand, we joined the FSW bat walk in July 2018. A visit to Leafy Grove revealed Common Pipistrelles and the group later moved into Great Field to walk back to the car park field. We hung back some 100 yards and as we traced the edge of Steven’s Larch the Echo Meter lit up and confirmed that the large bat that flew slowly over our heads  and the group ahead was a Serotine.

This was the catalyst that indicated there may be more to discover in SW and during the subsequent months (until hibernation) we established (mainly in the corner of the car park, to the right of Greenhill Way as you look up the hill), that there were, at that point, four species present, either resident or visitors to the wood:

Common Pipistrelle




In September, we had a recording the Echo Meter identified as a Bechstein’s bat, one of the UK’s rarest, with a population of only 1,500 residing mainly in the South. The recording was examined by Philip Briggs from the London Bat Group who advised that it could be either a Bechstein’s or a Natterer and in the final analysis felt it should be logged as the latter, so we ended 2018 with five listed species for SW plus recordings indicating the likely but at that point unconfirmed presence of Whiskered bats.    

In 2019 the hobbyist version of the Echo Meter gave way to the ‘Pro’ version with a more sensitive microphone and extended tuning options. With this enhanced equipment the current year has seen recordings that increase the species list to eight. 

Common Pipistrelle

Soprano Pipistrelle






Brown Long Eared

The most exciting thing about the current position is we’ve edged closer to there being Bechstein’s present as a new recording on April 20 was garnered and forwarded to Philip Briggs for analysis. He responded: “It’s probably either Bechstein’s or Natterer’s bat but it’s trickier to be more precise than this as the call parameters are generally within the range for both species, with the end frequencies occasionally going a bit lower than Jon Russ’s book gives for Bechstein’s bat or a bit high for Natterer’s bat. I notice the calls are very clipped which could potentially reduce the reliability of measurements. Sorry I can’t be more conclusive, but it’s likely to be one or the other!”

Bats are a key indicator of the health of ecosystems. In order for bats to prosper, there needs to be plants and trees that support the requisite insect populations and so forth. That SW has eight species present, either resident or as visitors, is very welcome and we look forward to broadening and deepening the knowledge of these amazing and unique animals in the wood.

Steve Budd and Ruth Budd 

The map below shows the locations at which bats of each species have been observed (as of 16/7/19). 

The colour code is:

RED - Common Pipistrelle 
GREEN - Soprano Pipistrelle
LIGHT BLUE - Myotis (ie Natterer and/or Bechstein's, as well as Whiskered and/or Brandt's)
DARK BLUE - Noctule
PINK - Leisler
BROWN - Brown Long Eared
YELLOW - Serotine

Other Mammals

---- Cat ----  Mole Hill ---- Rabbit (2) ---- Shrew (2) ---- Squirrel, Grey (2) ---- Short-tailed Bank Vole ---- Woodmouse ----


some other interesting signs of vertebrate life to be found in Selsdon Wood:

 ---- Gall Stone ---- Rabbit Droppings ---- Surrey Dragon ---- Solar Light  ---- Squirrel's Drey ---- Woodpecker nest hole ----  Bruno!  Fetch! ----

 ---- Kids Play Shelter ---- Nibbled Nuts ---- Hominid (bike riding) ---- Grave of Pet Rabbit ---- Burrow of Short Tailed Vole ----